Event to focus on violence toward LGBTQ* and black communities

By Bethany Bruder

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The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences will host “Bodies of Evidence: Transnational Dimensions of Violence” 2 p.m. Friday at the W.T. Young Library Auditorium.

The event is sponsored by the UK Office of LGBTQ* Resources, the Martin Luther King Center, the African American and African Studies Program, and the Black Student Union.

The event is designed to evaluate violence on campus directed towards members of the LGBTQ* and black communities. It will include a two part piece on gender and race equality, beginning with a “Policing Queer Bodies” panel discussion.

“We’re calling this lecture Policing Queer Bodies as a way to highlight the topics that three panelists will be covering — different aspects of how sexualized bodies are manipulated as they move across local and global boundaries and borders,” said Lance Poston, the director of LGBTQ* Resources.

The panel will feature two of experts from the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, as well as a third speaker and expert from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The discussion will be presented by Ellen Riggle, a professor of political science and Gender and Women’s Studies. She co-authored “A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being,” which received the Distinguished Book Award for 2012 from the American Psychological Association’s 44th division. The American Psychological Association also published her book co-authored with Sharon Rostosky, “Happy Together: Thriving as a Same-Sex Couple in Your Family, Workplace, and Community,” as part of its LifeTools Series in 2015.

The first speaker is Carol Mason, a professor who also serves as chairwoman of Gender and Women’s Studies. Mason is on the board of directors of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and she is an author of three books, including the newly published “Oklahomo: Lessons in Unqueering America. Her lecture will pertain to “Exporting the Anti-Gay Agenda.”

The second speaker will be Charlie Zhang, an assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies. Zhang specializes in neoliberal globalization and its cultural and material articulations through gender, sexuality, race and class in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I am very excited for this event,” Zhang said, “I will talk about how queer bodies have become a pivot for the trans-pacific movement and for the capital of value production I think this event is trying to show how general women’s studies is engaging some of the larger issues.”

The third and final speaker at the event will be Toby Beauchamp, an assistant professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies . His talk will be an adapted version of his book, “Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices,” from the Duke University Press.

“I’m particularly excited about this first larger-scale collaboration between the new LGBTQ* office and some amazing academic units at UK, furthering important conversations about understanding queer experiences and unpacking often overlooked mechanisms for marginalizing LGBTQ* folks,” Poston said. “I hope students, faculty, and staff will come out to engage with this event and our wonderful panelists.”

The event will be free and open to the public, and it will be followed by a Q&A session and a reception.